There had been rougher seasons emotionally, but I had never been so taxed in every area: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I had so many questions. Why would the Lord allow me to be so burdened for such a long period of time? Was there an escape? Was this what he really wanted for me? I knew the Lord created me to be a champion, a fighter, and a strong example for others to follow…so why was I feeling like such a miserable, terribly undesirable, deflated and less than exemplary child of God?
As I plopped down on my bed after yet another “one of those days” at work, knowing I had a project to complete and photos to edit and dishes to wash and the dog to take outside (and the list goes on), I thought to myself…this is not who I am.
And those six quiet, little words changed quite a lot. I had never thought that I was taking on an identity when I took on all of the responsibilities that I had. In fact, the responsibilities just seemed to pile up on their own, without me realizing that I was forming a “normal” for myself. I had made choices that led to the responsibilities I had, and though I couldn’t go back and change them (and though I didn’t need to change all of them), I was responsible for the things they led to. I wasn’t a victim of my schedule unless I chose to be. My schedule was not my identity.
So many of us find ourselves in situations that we hate, where we count the minutes, hours, days, and years, waiting to be set free from our burning pit of misery. We spend our lives discontent and ever waiting for change. We believe truly that we are victims, and so we feel like victims, we ACT like victims…and we take on our victim status as an identity. It becomes who we are, and we begin to live out of it. We become ragged, haggard, and hopeless. We are always on the clock. We become victimized, but by whom? Though it isn’t a popular idea, I’m starting to think that we victimize ourselves.
This is where I found myself, contemplating these things on my flannel sheets, with my computer in front of me and my hair dripping wet, realizing that I hadn’t finished the dishes or my homework. The dog still needed to go outside and my lesson plans needed to be organized and planned out for the next day. The laundry needed to be done and the bathroom was filthy. But none of those things were me. Those things were just things. I was a ragged, haggard, exhausted, unorganized, frustrated child of God…but I was still a Child of God. And at last there shone my identity through the black clouds of uncertainty and insecurity, through the downpours of discouragement and disbelief. There is was, though it was quiet and small…this was my identity. I am a Child of God. Maybe I’m disorganized and maybe the house is just filthy…but that doesn’t change my identity. When everything else in my life is going insane and I feel like I can’t control a single thing in my life, there is one thing I can cling to…who I am in Christ.
So maybe I’ve made myself a victim of my situation and schedule, but it isn’t too late to climb out of that hole. It’s a perspective change and it isn’t easy, but I can’t think of myself that way anymore. It gives too much power to the wrong thing. I can’t let my schedule overpower my very purpose in life. I can’t let my situation give me my identity. I can choose to fill my mind with truth, and let truth tell me what to believe.
When I look to myself I see a victim, but when I look to Christ I see more than a conqueror. I see yet another stepping stone in my journey; though it is jagged and precarious, as I navigate the path I’m made stronger and more prepared for the purpose Christ has for my life. There is purpose in the mundane. There is reason for the frustration, and I can choose to trust the heart of my God. I am no victim. I am victorious.